Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Friday, 4 December 2015

SPEEDING AT 100+ SHOULD MEAN DISQUALIFICATION

Once again a famous top footballer escapes a driving ban with mitigation that is so flimsy as to be almost an insult to intelligence.  This time it is Yaya Toure whose excuse for speeding at 101MPH was that his Porsche speedometer was designated in KPH and not MPH.  Whatever the arguments over whether footballers are worth £10 million a year anybody who owns and uses a vehicle with a continental specification should have the intelligence to know the equivalent MPH when it matters; eg  30MPH= 48KPH, 70MPH = 112KPH and by that I am not saying this defendant was not intelligent: he would have not reached his supreme position without a natural intelligence. Of course only those in court heard all that was put before the bench but IMHO that bench seems to fallen  hook line and sinker into a position of being in awe of the absentee defendant.  I despair of such thinking.  Without there being an emergency or a similar unforeseen material situation there should rarely be any occasion when a disqualification is not imposed for driving over 100MPH. 

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like a load of bollocks to me, to be perfectly frank. Doing over a hundred counts as "Well over the national speed limit", and really any driver should be thinking "Slightly over is points, well over is disqualification". At those sorts of speeds, it doesn't really matter all that much if the speed was 95, 100, 105 or whatever; the roads aren't designed with sightlines to allow those speeds.

    If the defendant can't even be bothered to turn up to face the music and give his version of events, then that compounds the matter. That is a failure to show the court the proper respect; even turning up looking scruffy when one has the clothes and ability to do otherwise is chancing one's luck to my mind. Sad to say, but appearance and a proper deference to authority counts for quite a lot.

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    1. How long would you ban for? What consequence would that be to someone who can easily afford a driver? Is 1/2-way to a 6 month ban a better measure?
      Whilst turning up suitably contrite might help make any mitigation more convincing, the idea that someone would be penalised for sending a legal representative is somewhat perverse, when the law specifically allows it.

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  2. How can members of this bench have been properly appraised if this is how they deal with routine offences such as this?

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  3. It's always a bad idea to criticise a bench when one wasn't there to hear what was said. 101 mph per say does not mean an automatic ban: parliament gave magistrates a discretionary power to ban speeding drivers. Other factors, such as traffic and weather conditions, are as important as the speed driven. 71 mph in fog/snow/rain can be more dangerous than 101 on an empty motorway in good weather.

    My only worry is this quote: "The 32-year-old footballer did not attend the hearing..." Why not?

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    1. Agreed that general driving conditions may be considered, however a blown tyre (for example) cannot be predicted and, at such high speed could easily, even probably, result in complete loss of control.

      The defence that the speedometer was calibrated in KPH is laughable. Take a look at the speedo on your own vehicle. You'll see that although the main speed display is given in MPH, there are further, smaller number indications given in KPH. In other words, even though his car's speedo was calibrated in KPH it would still be marked with the MPH designations in smaller characters. Was no one on the bench a motorist? Quite aside from this, anyone driving at 163KPH (which is 101MPH) knows very well that they are travelling well in excess of the speed limit.

      As you say, we need to be careful about criticising the bench when we weren't present to hear all that was said. However if we accept the KPH thing as being the main defence then it should have been thrown out and a disqualification given along with a fine (even if any monitary penalty would be meaningless to a professional bag of wind kicker).

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